DVD Review - Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil

Alan Tudyk (left) & Tyler Labine
This horror comedy does an excellent job of playing off expectations and prejudices. I don't think, however, that it's any more clever than a Saturday Night Live skit stretched out to over 80 minutes. It actually might be slightly less than clever than a SNL skit, but, the lead performances are so winsome that the material gets elevated.

Alan Tudyk (Serenity and Death at a Funeral) plays Tucker and Tyler Labine (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) plays Dale. All we really know about them is that they're hillbillies, two redneck idiots. Aside from their body-types, the only distinction between them is that Dale is slightly more timid when it comes to approaching pretty women.

In fact, Dale wants to approach a college girl named Allison, played by Katrina Bowden (30 Rock). She's traveling into the woods with a group of her friends who run across Tucker and Dale as they're about to set up shop in a remote cabin in the same woods.

The majority of Allison's friends think the worst of Tucker and Dale. A misunderstanding turns the college kids against Tucker and Dale. The rest of the movie is a battle between the two sides, a bloody, bumbling battle. It's all utterly ridiculous, but Tudyk and Labine really embrace it, and director Eli Craig in the middle of it does what most horror films or even romantic comedies don't do, and that's build a solid love story, even as utterly unbelievable as it is.

Special recognition goes to Jesse Moss (Final Destination 3 and The Uninvited) who plays Chad, the fiercest of Allison's friends. He's hilarious as the ever-growing insane leader of the college kids. Moss also embraces the ridiculousness here and makes it work. Yes, this is the bloodiest of all romantic comedies and there's something sweet about that.

Four Stars out of Five.
Rated R for horror, language and brief nudity.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 28 mins.


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